After the most frustrating Craig’s List negotiations ever, I have started to settle into my new home a.k.a. The Cottage.
From the moment I saw the ad go up online, I knew I wanted it. It has hardwood floors, black and white laminate in the kitchen, french doors, a fireplace, and even a washing machine. Before I moved all my furniture in and started painting and what not, I took three very (very very very very very very very very) rough videos of the place. Here they are if you want to see the basics/before.
Since these photos were taken, I’ve already painted the kitchen, bedroom, part of the living room and the bathroom. I’ve used a lot of mint and white paint.
My furniture has also gotten here so it’s been fun putting that together and seeing how my stuff fits into the new space. This has also given me the great joy of coming up of a list of new furniture to get. So far I’ve got patio furniture (I want to do this), a side table/bar area for the dining room (I have a diy plan) and I need to thrift three more chairs. I hear the thrifting here is pretty good so I’m excited.
Road trips are becoming my jam. It started last month with a road down the eastern seaboard and then back up north, and then this weekend I drove 22 hours (maybe a little more with traffic) as part of my move from Massachusetts to Florida with only my dog for company.
If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that music alone doesn’t cut it with me. Music is entertaining for about an hour, after that is just becomes part of the tedium. It’s doesn’t really hurry the whole trip up.
Podcasts though are great. They are usually between a half hour to an hour long, and are sort of like a television show or a book, just audio. And while I cannot sit on my bed and watch music for 12 hours straight, I can totally read a book or watch a good show for 12 hours straight. Sure, it’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but everyone has their guilty pleasures. Plus, I was stuck sitting for 12 hours anyways.
This is a podcast about the things we think about, but generally don’t say out loud. How much money do you make? What’s it like watching someone you love die? Do you deserve your inheritance? Do you resent your siblings? What’s it really like to be a funereal director? A sex worker? The host, Anna Sale, asks all the really blunt questions you’ve probably thought at least one time or another.
In this show, the host Starlee solves a lot of funny mysteries for her friends and some strangers. How tall is a certain celebrity? Why does that vanity plate say “I luv 911”? Starlee is very witty and she throws herself into these things with such a passion that she’s a real joy to listen too.
This is a bit of a nerd podcasts. It’s interviews with topnotch longform journalists about how they do what they do. They talk about structuring the stories, the reporting process, how to freelance, how to make money and life. The interviews are about an hour long and I think I listened to six of them in a row.
The backbone of this podcast is interesting stories – the memories of a revolutionary in Libya, strange art projects, immersive journalists, con artists, etc. The sorts of things that make a good NPR feature. The difference is they use sound in a really creative way I can’t really explain, so you’ll just have to listen to it.
I didn’t listen to this on my road trips because I had already listened to every episode. However, I think this is one of the smartest, funniest shows around. The people they find to interview are fascinating and the hosts have a great dynamic. It’s about the forces that control human behaviors, like emotions, beliefs and psychology. It’ll make you think.
Sometimes, it’s nice to go on a little day trip to some place inspiring.
Yesterday, I had the delight of visiting The Mount, the summer home of author Edith Wharton, with my mom and her friend (my second mother). The 107-year-old home was designed by Ms. Wharton, who valued simplicity, symmetry and details.
Plus, she also liked mint paint.
The home was recently restored to recreate the detailed plaster work and thoughtful place settings at her table. Despite the gloomy weather outside, bright light filled the interior, especially the nooks and crannies she liked to write in.
While the home was beautiful, my favorite part was the gardens.
Despite it being fall, plenty of plants were still in bloom. Any gardner who can still be tending to waves of color in late September is basically a deity in my opinion.
Who wouldn’t fall in love with a space like that? I spent the whole tour asking my mother if she thought they did weddings and how much it would be. Not that I’m anywhere near that point, but it can’t hurt to have a place in mind. Can it?
On a side note, there was a frog that appeared to be stuck in the little pond. I wanted to rescue it, so I, of course, hand my mother my phone and hop over the little border garden to catch the frog. This concerned one middle aged woman, but not anyone who knew me as I splashed around after it. I did not get the frog, but mumsie did get this picture.
This morning, I bid goodbye to my sunny apartment in Gardner, and in a weird and slightly unexpected turn of events, I’m going to miss it.
To be clear, it was not a nice apartment. It was barely insulated, the walls and floors were in bad condition, most of the rooms were a hideous brown. The neighbors came with their own batch of concerns. However, the neighbors had good days, like when Don gave me his sunflower and the fat cat Addie became friends with. I loved, loved, loved my bright white living room. My walking loop had a lovely pond full of wildlife (like an otter). Best of all, I could have little Adeline there.
This was my reading area. Sometimes I would move the chairs out of the way so I could do yoga in the morning light. The chairs were both Craig’s List finds. I redid the stool myself after my grandfather gave it to me. The bookshelf, dog bed and such are all things I made.
My desk with it’s tangled mess of cords is where I created everything. I built the top with my brother, and triangle shelves next to it are something I designed and my dad helped me build. It was, by far, the most difficult project we’ve ever undertaken but I love my mountain shelves.
Side note: Martha Stewart paint is definitely the best coverage. I swear by it.
My favorite thing about the room is that just about everything is thrifted, a hand me down or handmade. The rug was a $4 find at a flea market, the couch was from Craig’s List, I made the pillows, the trunk was my grandfather’s when he was in the Navy, I made the light fixture, painted the deer skull and so on. Heck, even Addie is a little rescue creature.
This apartment came at a time when I really needed just a little bit of space to figure stuff out. I got that, but I also got Cinco de Mayo parties, nights of making flowers crowns on the floor with good people and lots and lots of memories that prove I will be okay. It showed me I can craft the life I want to live and that I have choices.
So yeah, I’ll miss my little space. But not enough to pay the electric bill this winter.
I can not stop eating this popcorn. It’s basically the best thing ever.
This is very quickly becoming my favorite fall snack. I can eat a large mixing bowl of it in like an hour, which is probably not a good thing, but it’s just so very good.
It’s pretty easy to make.
1 Apple diced as small as possible
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/4 cup of popcorn kernels
Pop your kernels according to your direction
In a pot, melt down your butter and coconut oil. Then toss in the sugar,apples and cinnamon. On medium heat, let this cook down until the apples are soft. Then mix the sauce and the popcorn and enjoy!
It’s really superbly good. And, it goes great with tea and a book.
I have dreams of long, wavy hair. The type of hair you see in hipster feed on Instagram with the #authentic.
Unfortunately, the hairdresser who does $15 haircuts does not share that vision. She believes in cutting off the hair I did grow, putting me back an estimated year and a half in growth. I was not pleased with Great Clips, not even a little. It was not a great clip.
So I did what anyone with a bad haircut would do: I turned to Pinterest. Here’s five styles I found.
Found here. Note this link goes back to Pinterest and the pin doesn’t direct to a working blog, but the hair is still cool.
Do you ever do something and then instantly know that was a bad idea?
Yeah. That was me earlier today.
The credenza in question
I have been desperately trying to sell a credenza on Craig’s List as part of my break up move out (you just don’t throw away vintage. It’s a crime). A few days ago, I had a buyer all lined up and then the ex just screwed it up royally. It was unfortunate.
So after sending a profuse apology to buyer 1 and not hearing back from her I reposted it. Then buyer 1 said she still “wanted to look at it” and I said okay. However, we never arranged a time.
In the meantime, another person sent me her phone number and said she definitely would want to buy it and could pick it up that day. I knew it was wrong to screw buyer 1 over a second time, but buyer 2 was a sure thing so I went for it and then broke the bad news to buyer 1.
Buyer 1 — who then said she definitely would have bought it — was not pleased with me, and I feel bad.
Right after it happened, it quickly dawned on me what I should have done. I should have told buyer 1 about buyer 2, and asked her if she was serious about buying it or if I should go with buyer 2. That would have been the best way to clarify the situation and not screw anyone over.
So once I had seven plant holders I needed a way to hang them without putting seven holes in the wall, because this is a rental. Then I got remembered this Pintrest pin, that I had loved. It’s like a whole garden on a wall.
And I said I can do something like that.
So I went on a walk, found a tree with a dead branch I liked (I promise it was dead) and ripped it off the tree and brought it home. I’m basically a lumberjack.
Once I got it home, I wrapped some pink embroidery around the ends, about an inch on each side to add some color, and then tied the ends to create a loop.
From there, I just strung the plants on and hung the branch on the wall (only two nails – not seven).
It’s air plant week in celebration of my new Air Plants I bought at Brimfield (objectively the best flea market in New England).
Today, we are talking about what to ‘plant’ the kiddos in. Now, as the name suggests, they don’t need dirt. Instead, they feed off of dust and water. A popular way to display them is in handing glass jars, although the vendor I bought my plants from recommended against that. He said they like to have more air than they can get in the glass container, however based on my reading that seems conservative.
For my plants, I made some macrame holders, and you can to.
For supplies you need: string, wooden beads, a nail to hang it on the wall and help push the sting through the beads
To start, fold the three string in half tie a simple loop knot. Then string the beads onto two of the strings. Tie a knot under the bead to keep it from sliding. Repeat until it looks like so:
Then create another row of beads. Making this pattern.
When that’s done, tie a simple knot at the end holding everything together like a little net.
I picked up four new air plants at Brimfield Flea Market last week, bringing my total up to seven air babies. They are lovely.
In honor of my new babies, I though I would share some tips about how to how to care for them, as dictated to me by the seller “Mother Nature’s Gifts.”
– Once a week submerge the plants in water for 10 minutes.
– In between soaks, spray the kiddos down with a spray bottle. I picked up one for 92 cents at Walmart.
-If the leaves start to curl in, it means they want more water.
– If you want to give them a fertilizer use either orchid food or Peter’s All Purpose at half strength. They recommended staying away from miracle grow.
– They prefer bright light all day, but will settle for a few hours of sun in the morning or afternoon.
– After the plants flower, they will make little air plant babies. Typically, one to eight new growths will sprout off the plant. Once they get to half the size of the original plant, you can clip them off and let them start their own lives.